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Audiophiles

Best Powered Subwoofers 2023

You can get by with just a pair of standard speakers. You don’t need a sub in the strictest sense. But you won’t believe how much of a difference having one makes. It’s not just the obvious low-end increase that comes with a decent sub; it’s also the overall richness of the sound.

SVS SB-3000 Subwoofer

SVS SB-3000 13" Sealed Subwoofer (Black Ash)
  • Unheard of reference subwoofer performance for the price and also for its compact size differentiate the SB-3000 subwoofer from any subwoofer...
  • First ever 13-inch high-excursion SVS driver is an iron fist inside a velvet glove. Completely new design delivers punishing levels of low frequency...
  • Conservatively rated at 800 watts RMS, 2,500+ watts peak power, the Sledge STA-800D2 amplifier maximizes the full potential of the 13-inch driver with...

The SB-3000 is the newest subwoofer model from SVS, and we believe it is deserving of the title of Best High-End Subwoofer. The previous model, the PB16-Ultra, was excellent, but it was also enormous, unwieldy, and far too much for most people. The SB-3000 solves these problems by incorporating everything the Ultra accomplished effectively into a considerably more compact and cheap frame. For those with really large rooms, two of these may be required, but for the vast majority of individuals, one of these will be plenty. It’s a considerable (though pricey) upgrade over the top-rated SB-1000 Pro.

The great DSP is one feature we’d like to mention (Digital Signal Processing). It enables for nearly endless adjusting, allowing you to get precise, controlled bass while still retaining power. This sub thrives in movies and television, adding true weight to gunfire, explosions, and punches at the low end. It’s yet another triumph for SVS, and the only question now is where they’ll go from here. This is the Best Powered Subwoofer in 2023.

Sonos Sub – The Wireless Subwoofer for Deep Bass

Sonos Sub - The Wireless Subwoofer for Deep Bass - White
  • The wireless subwoofer for deep bass.
  • Hear and feel the difference when you wirelessly connect Sub to your Sonos system.
  • Stand it upright, place it on its side, or tuck it under the couch.

The Sonos Sub, like a subwoofer in a traditional wired system, will deliver a rich, deep bass sound. Sonos has applied the same philosophy of simplicity to this system as they have to the rest of their speaker products, providing you a one-button setup that won’t require you to overthink anything.

Sonos has cemented its position as the market leader in wireless sound systems. It’s difficult to discuss Bluetooth speakers without mentioning the company’s multi-room speaker handoff systems. When gazing at the Play:1s or Play:3, though, it’s easy to forget that these smaller speakers, especially when paired in stereo pairs, don’t have much bass end. That’s where Sonos’ SUB system’s latest wireless subwooferwireless subwoofer version comes into play.

The best audiophile subwoofer under 1000 can be placed on the floor outside the system or slipped inside a cabinet. There are force-canceling drivers positioned face-to-face inside the cabinet, allowing for a full, unrestricted bass response. You won’t have to worry about cabinet buzzing, rattling, or other sonic distortions. The best home subwoofers can be wirelessly connected to the full system and operated with the Sonos app, exactly like the rest of the Sonos family.

Klipsch SPL-150SW 15 Inch Powered Subwoofer

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Klipsch SPL-150SW 15 Inch Powered Subwoofer, Ebony
  • Bass reflex via exclusive front firing internal flare port for placement flexibility
  • High efficiency class d amplifier with 400W RMS and 800W peak
  • Compatible with Klipsch wa 2 wireless kit

Whenever there is a rumbling, a Klipsch is generally implicated, and the SPL-150SW is frequently one of the culprits. The monster of the Klipsch line of subwoofers is this: Its amp is strong, its speaker is enormous, and its low frequency response extends well into the jarring subsonic region. Yet, this sub and its gleaming driver serve more purposes than just getting people excited on the weekends. A manufacturing innovation ensures that your audio is transmitted by a composite material that resists distortion and resonance aberrations — even at the volume levels we know you’re thinking about right now. The speaker, voice coil, and basket were engineered with remarkable precision, and that glowing spun-copper appearance reflects not just an aesthetic choice but also a manufacturing breakthrough.

The SPL-150SW’s integrated amplifier contains an analog preamp, which many audiophiles need for a top-notch listening experience in a market dominated by digital music. At 400W, that gorgeous sound will fill even the biggest home theater spaces with plenty of headroom.

For homes with well-appointed audio systems, the SPL-150SW’s dual connectivity with wired connectors and the optional wireless adapter allows you to have it react instantaneously to your sound bar or stereo without having to change inputs on a menu. Speaking of good, the scratch-resistant coating provides a pleasing wood grain appearance that resembles ebony.

SVS SB-1000 Pro Sealed Subwoofer

SVS SB-1000 Pro Sealed Subwoofer (Black Ash)
  • 325 Watts RMS and 820+ Watts Peak Power Sledge STA-325D Amplifier combines massive high current output of discrete MOSFETs with Class D efficiency....
  • High-Excursion 12-inch SVS Subwoofer Driver features dual ferrite magnet motor assembly with long-throw parabolic surround for extreme excursion that...
  • 50MHz Analog Devices Audio DSP renders pinpoint accurate frequency response through advanced in-room tuning and powerful controls while letting the...

There’s a reason why SVS dominates the subwoofer market. No other manufacturer routinely creates subs that combine amazing bass with great design, and do it at affordable costs. The SVS SB-1000 Pro is one of their better models, in our opinion. Its small cabinet produces up to 325 watts of clear, punchy bass, which we found to work well with speakers of any brand.

What really sticks out is the SB-1000 Pro’s remarkably subtle and nuanced audio quality; clarity isn’t sacrificed for grunt. Although there are better options for larger rooms, such as the ELAC Debut 2.0 SUB3030 (below), there is no better overall subwoofer. We were so impressed with the SB-1000 Pro that we designated it our standard testing subwoofer for assessing other audio hardware.

The SB-1000 Pro’s major flaw is its limited power output. It may not be enough for those with larger rooms (anything over 250 square feet). A more powerful solution, such as SVS’s own SB-3000 (below), might be preferable. The SB-1000 Pro is the model to choose for the rest of us. It’s worth noting that SVS also offers a ported version, the PB-1000 Pro, that produces even more powerful sound. It’s adequate, but we believe the SB-1000 Pro offers a more comprehensive package in the best sub under 1000.

KEF KC62 Subwoofer

KEF KC62 Subwoofer (Black)
  • Frequency Response (±3dB): 11Hz – 200Hz
  • 1000 Watt RMS Power
  • 5 DSP Settings (Free Space, Next to a wall, In a corner, In a cabinet, Apartment Mode)

The KEF KC62 is a marvel. It accomplishes two feats that, on their own, would be incredible. Together, they elevate this subwoofer to new heights. For starters, it’s teeny-tiny, measuring less than ten inches across, significantly smaller than the SVS SB-1000 Pro. For instance, it has the deepest bass of any sub on this list: 11Hz, which is even deeper than the enormous and far more expensive Power Sound Audio S3612. That’s an incredible trick, and that means the KC62 is the most futuristic submarine we’ve ever tested. the home theater system subwoofer features a plethora of technology that offer superb sound quality, and it’s a wonderful choice if you can afford the best powered subwoofer under 1000.

We believe the KEF KC62 has a couple of flaws that hinder it from taking first place. It requires careful placement because it is so little and powerful. It features two side-firing drivers, so you’ll have to spend some time figuring out where the optimal location is. It also lacks any kind of digital control. All of the controls are located in the back, and while they function properly, they appear and feel a touch clumsy. A preferable choice would have been an app control, such as the one found in the less priced SVS SB-3000. Its absence is especially perplexing, given KEF’s class-leading wireless speakers are currently controlled via an app. Nonetheless, if you want to dig deep, this is the place to be.

ELAC Debut 2.0 DS10.2 200 Watt Powered Subwoofer

ELAC Debut 2.0 S10.2 10” Powered Subwoofer, Black - Custom Driver & 200-Watt Peak BASH Amplifier -...
  • POWERFUL SUBWOOFER - S10.2 is the perfect complement to the Debut 2.0 loudspeakers, adding powerful bass that you can feel and hear. Built to deliver...
  • BASS THAT BRINGS SOUND TO LIFE - With 200 Watts built in, there’s plenty of power to deliver rock-solid low frequencies that make your favorite...
  • ON DEMAND POWER - A 10-inch long-throw custom bass driver and 200-Watt Peak BASH amplifier provide the quality and quantity of sound that is...

The Debut 2.0 range from ELAC contains a subwoofer that easily ranks in our top 10, independent of room size. The SUB3030 delivers plenty of oomph at 500 watts RMS and 1,000 watts peak (complete definitions of those words may be found in our Buying Advice section below), and the bass it produces is strong and muscular. Whether you’re watching movies, shows, or playing games, it’ll keep you entertained.

There aren’t any physical controls in place. Instead, you can use an Android or iOS app to get all of the features you need, including software that allows you to fine-tune the sound to your specific listening situation. The sound isn’t as deep or strong as the SB-3000, but it’s still plenty rich and detailed for most people. Although we will state that subs like the Q Acoustics Q B12 have beaten it out, ELAC has made a truly fantastic device at a very inexpensive price point for a budget subwoofer.

PSB Alpha S8-8″ Powered Subwoofer

PSB Alpha S8-8" Powered Subwoofer, Black (Each)
  • POWERED SUBWOOFER FOR HUGE BASS – The PSB Alpha S8 Powered Subwoofer will astound lifelike realism for both music, movies and audiophile’s lovers....
  • DIGITAL AMPLIFIER POWER – 150 Watts of Continuous Power. Compact cabinet volumes with high output. Advanced engineering and design from Paul Barton...
  • ADVANCED TECH IN DRIVERS & AMPLIFICATION - The Alpha S8 boasts a specialized long-throw 8” driver and efficient bass reflex enclosure for remarkable...

There aren’t many subwoofers in this price range that can match the Alpha S8’s pinpoint, dazzling clarity, especially when it comes to intricate and subtle instruments like double bass. The subwoofer isn’t the most powerful, and with only 35 Hz of extension, the bass isn’t the deepest. But it has the distinct impression that the audio has been hand-tuned for maximum realism.

Unfortunately, the limited power becomes an issue. The PSB Alpha S8 doesn’t quite measure up to comparably priced subwoofers like the Q Acoustics Q B12 (220 watts versus 150). This is partly due to the driver’s extremely modest size; at eight inches, it lacks the grunt to compete with the big giants. Although we admire the attention to detail, if you prefer your subwoofers to be loud and proud, you might want to consider other options, such as the Q Acoustics model described above.

Powered Subwoofers Buying Guide

For the high-performance subwoofers we would take into consideration for this evaluation, we decided on a few criteria:

Price: With the knowledge that prices can change, we decided to set the minimum price for the models in our guide at $300, which corresponds to the $300 price ceiling of our best budget subwoofer buying guide. We decided on $900 as the upper limit because we believed it would enable us to get big models from the majority of the top companies while maintaining the focus on relatively small subwoofers that most people wouldn’t mind having in a living room. (

With this price ceiling, we’re not saying that subwoofers that cost more than $900 aren’t worthwhile investments; in fact, many of them are, in my experience. However, there’s a practical limit to how many of these big, heavy devices we can fit into a single guide.

Size: We didn’t specify a minimum woofer size because the step-up models we highlight here are all capable of producing at least a respectable amount of bass. We didn’t establish a maximum either because we believed that many individuals looking for better performance would be content to use a bigger subwoofer.

Inputs: Home theater systems are more likely to use these subwoofers than stereo systems. For this reason, unlike the models we took into consideration for our budget subwoofer guide, we did not demand that they feature speaker-level connections. The majority of models do, however, have both speaker- and line-level connections, enabling them to be connected to almost any kind of audio system. Further details on these connection options can be found in our blog post on subwoofer setup.

(Passive radiator, ported, or sealed) Woofer loading There are three primary varieties of subwoofers: sealed, ports, and those with one or more passive radiators (basically, an additional speaker cone that is not driven and operates acoustically similarly to a port). While ported and passive-radiator subwoofers are thought to be more powerful, sealed subwoofers are frequently regarded as “tighter” and more precise. As every type of subwoofer has both good and bad examples, we won’t concentrate on any one type in this article but will include it in the descriptions that follow.

Features for equalization and tuning: Several subwoofers in this price range come with cutting-edge features and tuning options. Some include automated room equalization (also known as room EQ), which partially corrects for acoustic issues in your room. Others include several listening options for listening to music or movies or for adjusting the sound to the listener’s preferences. These characteristics were seen as a plus but not a necessity. As evidenced by our listening tests, it may occasionally be wiser to spend money on better or larger speakers and amplifiers rather than cutting-edge audio-processing equipment. Also, a lot of AV receivers come with room EQ, albeit the effectiveness of the technology varies from receiver to receiver.

Aesthetics: While most subwoofers are just matte-black boxes, other subwoofers have good design elements like an eye-catching finish or a shape that’s simple to conceal. Despite the fact that many of these models fall short of the performance of conventional (read: ugly) designs, we made care to test a number of them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a subwoofer?

Powered subwoofers only function to deliver powerful, deep bass. They’re crucial for home theater systems in particular since they can create rumbling, subwoofer-like effects that “normal” speakers can’t. Powered subwoofers are a terrific addition for some music enthusiasts to their stereo systems.

Where should I place my subwoofer?

Because bass waves propagate in all directions, you have some freedom in where you put your subwoofer. Strong bass is produced when your sub is placed next to a wall, and much more is produced when it is placed in a corner. See where your subwoofer sounds best by moving it around.